New York Knicks
- NBA Championships: 2
- Last NBA Championship: 1999
- Claim to Fame: The Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in their founding city. The other team is the Boston Celtics.
- Claim to Shame: New York reached a new low in February 2017 when MSG security members forcibly ejected Knicks legend Charles Oakley from the stands after he allegedly heckled James Dolan. Oakley has since filed a civil lawsuit over the incident.
You can’t tell the history of the NBA without delving into the storied past of the New York Knickerbockers, who have been there since Day 1.
Originally formed in 1946, the Knicks were a championship contender from the very start and appeared in three straight NBA Finals from 1951-53. New York came up short in each of those series, but managed to hit pay dirt in the 1970’s when they won a pair of championships in 1970 and 1973. Those title-winning squads were led by future Hall of Famers Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusshere, Billy Bradley, and Jerry Lucas.
The Knicks would never have that much talent on a single squad again, but they did become a powerhouse once more in the late 80’s and 90’s thanks to the indomitable Patrick Ewing, who guided New York to 13-straight playoff appearances from 1988-2000. The Hall of Fame center remains the franchise leader in games, points, rebounds, steals, and blocks.
The team’s recent history hasn’t been quite as bright as the Knicks have missed the postseason in each of the last five years. Injuries were largely to blame in 2017-18 as All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis missed 34 games after tearing the ACL in his left knee. Pricey free agent Tim Hardaway Jr. also missed 25 contests, resulting in just 29 wins and yet another trip to the lottery.
Porzingis will miss the start of the season as he continues to recover, but there’s reason for optimism in Gotham this year thanks to top draft pick Kevin Knox, who led all rookies in scoring at the Las Vegas Summer League, and point guard Trey Burke, who dazzled fans with back-to-back 26-point performances against the Magic and Celtics in February, and exploded for 42 points and 12 assists against the Hornets in late March.
The Knicks won’t return to the Finals again in 2019, but they appear to finally be moving in the right direction after years of futility.